Future of African Remittances: National Surveys 2010
The Future of African Remittances (FAR) team conducted research on remittance flows to measure and understand the remittance process in sub-Saharan Africa. This ambitious and important research is initially focused on three countries in East Africa - Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
In order to glean insights into the remittance process in the three designated countries, the World Bank designed a two-phase survey process. Phase 1 involved conducting a national survey in each of the three countries. The purpose of the first phase of research was to collect a large representative sample of the adult population in each country. The national surveys provide important baseline data about international remittance flows including: an estimate of the percent of the total adult population that regularly receives remittances, the average amount of each remittance received, most common methods of receipt and top sending countries. Additionally, through the analysis of the national survey results, World Bank was able to identify areas of each country that have high concentrations of international remittance recipients. This important piece of information guided Phase 2 of the research - surveys of remittance receivers in each country. Whereas the national surveys aimed to collect general data about the remittance process, the surveys of remittance recipients allowed for the collection of more detailed data about the remittance process itself, how remittances are used, the relationship between sender and receiver, and interest in various financial products.
The results of this research will not only provide estimates of total annual amounts of remittances for each country, but also will tell us the percentage of the population in each country that is involved in the international remittance process. Furthermore, it will offer insights as to the degree to which Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans depend on international remittances and how the money is used, saved and/or invested. Results will also measure interest in financial products that, if utilized, can significantly impact the financial well-being of the population and the overall economic stability of each country.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
v0.1: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution
Producers and sponsors
The World Bank
The total samples were compiled utilizing multi-stage stratified random sampling through respondent selection. Multi-stage random sampling ensured that a random sample of adults was collected in each country. First, after stratifying the population of each country by region and population density, sampling points (SPs) were determined. SPs were then randomly selected within each stratum. At each SP, respondents were randomly selected to participate in the survey.
The first phase consisted of national surveys of the adult population of each country. The three survey samples were designed to be representative of the adult populations of these three countries. World Bank coordinated and oversaw all aspects of the sampling and interviewing process. A team of local field experts was hired in each country to conduct the actual interviews. All interviewers were professionally trained and supervised by research personnel. In this phase of the research, a total of 2022 Kenyan adults were interviewed.
Once the national surveys were completed, the results were analyzed to determine the areas of concentration of the remittance recipient population, after which the second phase of the project was conducted. This phase of the project included a targeted survey of the remittance recipient population of each of the three East African countries. Sampling Points were established based on the analysis of the national survey data and the identification of areas within each country that showed the highest concentrations of remittances received from relatives abroad in proportion to the sample size of all areas surveyed. Once again, local field experts were hired in each country to conduct the interviews, training and supervision of field operations. Languages of interviews were the same as those employed in Phase 1 and, again, all interviews were conducted in person using the PAPI method. A total of 400 interviews with regular international remittance recipients were completed in each country during August and September of 2010. The margin of error for all three surveys is approximately ±5 percentage points and the 95 percent level of confidence.
The total sample was compiled utilizing multi-stage stratified random sampling through respondent selection. This sampling method enabled B&A to ensure that a representative random sample of Kenyan adults was collected. There are three stages to this type of sampling methodology. First, after stratifying the Kenyan population by region and population density, sampling points (SPs) were determined. SPs were then randomly selected within each stratum. In the second stage, using the random route method, dwellings were selected within each SP. The random route method involves selecting an address in each SP at random as a starting point. Each interviewer was given instructions to identify additional dwellings by taking alternate left and right turns and stopping at every Nth dwelling. The third and final stage involved selecting actual participants - for each selected dwelling, individual respondents were chosen using a Kish grid. In a Kish grid, prior to beginning the interview, the interviewer first asks for the ages and genders of every household member (only persons aged 18 or older were eligible for selection). The individual to be interviewed was then chosen based on a random number in the grid.
Once the national survey was completed, B&A analyzed the results to determine the areas of concentration of the remittance recipient population, after which the second phase of the project was conducted. This phase included a targeted survey of the remittance recipient population in Kenya. Sampling Points were established based on B&A's analysis of the national survey data and the identification of areas of the country that showed concentrations of international remittance receivers in proportion to the sample size of all areas surveyed. Once again, local field experts were hired to conduct the interviews and B&A conducted all training and supervision of field operations. Interviews were conducted in English or Swahili depending on respondent preference and all interviews were conducted in person using the PAPI method.
A total of 401 interviews with regular international remittance recipients were conducted in Kenya during August and September of 2010. The margin of error for the surveys is approximately ±5 percentage points and the 95 percent level of confidence.
Every effort was made to achieve the maximum possible coverage, taking cost, timing and other factors into account. A coverage rate of 85% was achieved in the national survey and the 15% of the country that was not covered consisted of areas that were either very remote (and difficult to travel to) or that had extremely small populations.
As is the case with most surveys conducted in areas that have significant rural populations, there was some over-representation of people who reside in urban areas. The national data was therefore weighted to be consistent with the most recent Census figures for the breakdown of the urban/rural population in Kenya – 32% urban and 68% rural.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Bendixen & Amandi
This survey consisted of 12 questions that were aimed at helping to identify some of the basic characteristics of the remittance recipient population in each country. Some of the variables included in this survey were - location, age, gender, amount of money received, method of receipt, origin of remittance, etc.
The survey instrument for Phase 2 consisted of approximately 35 questions and included a number of variables aimed at obtaining greater detail about the remittance receiving process including costs, amounts received, information about the sender and the relationship between sender and receiver. Additionally, the survey measured interest in various financial products.
Estimates of Sampling Error
The margin of error is approximately ±5 percentage points and the 95 percent level of confidence.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
World Bank, Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Generation of DDI documentation
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 1.0 (25 April 2011)